Gods of Olympus


In Greek mythology, Helios is the god of the sun, and thus the personification of the sun itself. He is the son of the titan Thea and the titan Hyperion. His sisters are named Selene (goddess of the moon) and Éós (goddess of the morning reds).

His wife was Persa, with whom he had a son Aiéto and daughters Kirké (a sorceress) and Pásifaé. With Clymene he had seven daughters called Heliothenes and a son called Phaethon. With Aiglé (water nymph) he had Charitky (goddess of charm and beauty). And with the nymph Neaira they had daughters Faethusa and Lampetii.

Helios gave life to the earth with his warmth and light. He always rode his chariot from east to west, and he did so every day. In the west, his horses were grazed, and then Helios mounted a boat (made for him by Hephaestus) and sailed back to the east on the ocean, so that he could set out again the next day in his chariot to the west. On his travels he witnessed many momentous events. For example, the goddess Aphrodite's infidelity with the god of war, Ares (which he revealed to Hephaestus). He also saw the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades (revealed by Demeter), etc.

Helios' pride was the seven herds of cows and seven flocks of lambs he had on the island of Thrinakia. Each herd numbered 50 head. They were guarded by his daughters Faethúsa and Lampetia.

Helios owned the island of Rhodes, which he retrieved from the deep. This happened when the gods were dividing the land. But Helios was forgotten because he was on a journey with his chariot through the heavens. In order to have some possessions, he had the others agree that the island he picked up from the sea would be his. And that was Rhodes.